Velvet Revolver rocker Duff Mckagan credits kickboxing for getting him back in shape and keeping him away from his old gallon-a-day vodka habit.

The former GUNS N' ROSES bassist, 40, was forced to give up his hard-living lifestyle after encountering serious pancreas problems, and he's not looked back since.

He says, "I was drinking a gallon of vodka a day, doing cocaine, any pill I could get my hands on, heroin. And on May 10 1994, my pancreas exploded.

"The pain was like in the war movies, where they say, 'Kill me. Put me out of my misery.' I got out of the hospital, and I started riding my mountain bike; I was shaking so bad I didn't know what to do. The first day I rode for, like, eight hours. I didn't want to be static, or else I would think about drinking.

"Then I met BENNY THE JET, my sensei. He saved my life, got me kickboxing. It's pretty much the most intense workout there is. I face everything in the ring that you face in life.

"Now I work out six days a week - kickboxing, lifting weights... I'm an extreme person. When I did drugs and drank, I was extreme, and when I go to the gym, it's not just to f**k around."

26/10/2004 09:20